Neema is the mother of Prata’ri and Va’lana Rackus
Neema Rackus lost her husband when her children were very young. She struggled to raise them alone on Ryloth, working odd jobs and trying to make ends meet. Fortunately, her children developed a talent for working with machines, and as they grew older, they were able to help support the family by competing in swoop races.
However, when her daughter Va’lana got the opportunity to enter the prestigious Brightlands Open, Neema made the mistake of visiting a loan shark affiliated with the Pyke crime family in order to make a large bet on her children. Her hope was that a single win would net them enough money to live on so that they would no longer have to rely on swoop races for income. Va’lana, although very skilled for an amateur racer, had never competed against professionals before, and when she failed to place, the family’s debt was called.
With no money to pay off the debt, and very little to offer in terms of collateral, Neema herself became the property of the Pykes. As females, Neema and her daughter were deemed more valuable as slaves than the young Prata’ri, and they were quickly separated and sold offworld, leaving the young Rackus male to fend for himself.
Neema had several different owners, but was eventually purchased by prominent Bespin businessman Arend Shen. Shen intended to use Neema to blackmail Prata’ri Rackus, who had betrayed him in a deal to steal the Jewel of Yavin and had also helped his daughter Aris flee from Cloud City. When Prata’ri and Jeffren Froe gave Arend a forgery of the jewel to bargain for Neema, he eventually discovered that he’d been duped when the jewel fell from his hands and shattered into pieces. Furious, Shen stabbed the shards of the fake jewel into Neema’s right leg, determined to punish Prata’ri for this second deception.
Neema was eventually freed when Prata’ri and Jeffren returned to Cloud City to exchange her for Aris Shen and a large sum of credits. The encounter turned violent, but Neema survived. Arend Shen was arrested by the Cloud City Wing Guard, and Neema was reunited with her son at last. She is currently on Ord Radama being treated by an underground team of Rebel insurgents.